Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
A few weeks ago, one unusually hot Saturday, I was having a busy but good day. 7 am swim at the beach… 8 am breakfast… 9.30am daughter’s softball game (me scoring)… 12.30pm buy a present for other daughters birthday party, get saxophone music for son’s music lessons, snacks for evening picnic… 1.30pm everything looking under control. There was still time to wrap the present, collect/get dressed/drop off the daughter to a party AND get to pilates by 2 pm. That was UNTIL I could not find my parking ticket to exit the mall car park—anywhere. Mild panic… I was going to be late—the party, pilates—what was I going to do?
I then thought, just press the button at the parking ticket box at the exit and explain my situation to the operator. I felt sure she would let me go when she understood the situation. RELIEF, someone answered my call for help quickly, and also quickly told me that it was my fault. They explained I had lost the ticket and that I would have to pay a fee. I thought “okay then, this can’t be too bad, a small fee is fine to get out of here and get where I need to go on time.” The operator said just wait a minute while she sent the fee down the ticket box and that I could pay with my credit card. Within moments flashing on the screen was a fee of $26.00. I could not believe my eyes—for less than an hours parking which would normally be free. I could feel my blood beginning to boil!
I started to complain, to plead and beg that a fee of $26.00 was far too high for the simple mistake of losing my ticket. I also realised with horror and began to explain that my credit card is a direct debit card—which I transfer money across to from another account, using my iPhone (which of course had run out of batteries)—and I only had $23.44 on that direct debit card. The operator quickly explained that they didn’t accept direct debit card anyway and that I would have to pay the $26.00, or I was not allowed out of the car park. There was no way around this according to her. On top of everything else, I’d spent my last fifty dollars in cash, buying the saxophone music, thinking I would not need any more money until I could next visit the ATM. At that moment I felt like I was going to explode. I felt TRAPPED. I needed to pick up my daughter (I couldn’t call anyone as my phone was flat), and get to pilates—here I was STUCK in the car park, with ten cars lined up behind me. It was so hot in the car; I felt there was no way out, I wanted to SCREAM!
Although I hated the situation I was in (lots of resistance, creating my pain), I finally had to accept there was nothing I could do except go with the flow. I had to put my hazard lights on getting the ten cars to reverse slightly to allow me enough room to go back into the car park and park. At this stage had completely given up on being on time, anywhere. I then began the long trek to the other side of the shopping mall where the central car park office was, to make some payment arrangement.
As I began to move, to walk, my mind started to calm down as energy began to flow around my body again. When stressed, I could not access my intuition which always has the right answers for me to guide me gently on my path. My head was so full of stress and tension while I was in the car I could not hear it. When I was walking and feeling calmer, my mind began to LET GO of the tension and stress. I started to create SPACE in my inner world to allow my intuition to guide me effortlessly again. Much more powerful than me trying to work things out.
I realised I could go to the ATM and get out my last $20 and then I had $6 loose change in my wallet—CAR PARK FREEDOM.
By that time I was very close to the central car park office, so I dropped by and told her I had solved my problem. I also mentioned that I felt it was a shame that car park rules had become more important than compassion for her fellow human beings in a moment of distress. It got me thinking since when are rules MORE IMPORTANT THAN PEOPLE? I asked myself “As a human race, have we forgotten what we all value in our hearts: love, compassion, and forgiveness?”
I reflected that this was how I felt about the “car park drama” on one level, however, at a deeper level, I knew there was more. There are no accidents, and everything happens for a reason. I turned my attention from the drama that was occurring in my inner world. I asked myself what was I feeling? Trapped, frustrated and angry was the answer because someone was not showing me the compassion I expected and felt I deserved when I was having a difficult time. Again I asked myself “Is this a pattern?” I realised yes it was; I had felt this way before. I had unconsciously recreated this situation so I could consciously observe my pattern with love. The awareness of my pattern allowed me to replace my old pattern and consciously choose one which would support me.
I decided that I could give myself the love and compassion that I needed. Are there areas where you can do this in your life? I realise that it is MY loving source within is reliable and unchanging and allows me a true sense of stability. This way of being also releases me and others of expectations created by the mind which can lead to disappointment and instability. Being connected to my innate sense of love felt right, sustainable and flowing. Life can be a wonderful teacher if we let it. What are the messages that life is giving you to help you to reconnect with your natural sense of peace and security?
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